Major reports

Project Report #1 (Feb 2021): Claimants' experiences of the social security system during the first wave of COVID-19

You can find a summary of the report's findings in the news section of our website here, and access the full report here.

(You can access the tables behind the figures, and see a regional breakdown of some of the key figures.)

Project Report #2 (Feb 2021): Navigating Pandemic Social Security: Benefits, Employment and Crisis Support during COVID-19

Organisations engaged in benefits, employment and crisis support play an important role in the lives of claimants and those financially struggling in the UK today. In this report, we answer two questions: what is the nature and extent of support received by benefit claimants? And how have benefits, employment and crisis support been affected by COVID-19? 

You can access the full report here.

Project Report #3 (April 2021): Non-take-up of benefits at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic

The situation of those who did not claim UC has been given little attention – particularly those who were eligible for UC but did not claim it. In this report, we present the findings of exploratory research into this group, funded by the Health Foundation. We look at how many people didn't claim UC despite being entitled to it, why they didn't claim, and their financial situation and mental health.

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Rapid findings

Rapid Findings #1 (June 2020): Claiming but Connected to Work

This report presents the first findings from the Welfare at a (Social) Distance project to look at how far benefit claimants are connected to the world of work, helping to better understand the emerging picture from recent UK labour market statistics. In this report, we investigate a range of questions including, how many new claimants have a job? How many people are claiming unemployment related benefits? And what employment support do these new claimants need?

Rapid Findings #2 (Sep 2020): Who are the new COVID-19 cohort of benefit claimants?

This report provides an overview of some of the key characteristics of benefit claimants and distinguishes between those who made their claim either before or after the COVID-19 outbreak in the UK. Evidence suggests that the socio-demographic profile of new claimants differs considerably from those who were already claiming before COVID-19. These differences raise questions about the inequalities that exist as people enter into the benefit system, but also the administrative and operational features that risk amplifying these inequalities or creating new ones.

Rapid Findings #3 (Oct 2020): At the Edge of the Safety Net: Unsuccessful benefits claims at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic

There has been much scrutiny of the British benefits system during COVID-19, and most experts agree that the benefits system has performed well, even if historic weaknesses remain. Yet little attention has been paid to those who start a claim that is ultimately not successful. This report focuses on these ‘unsuccessful claimants’, using new YouGov survey data and interviews funded by the Health Foundation.

Essays, Briefing Notes & Evidence Submissions

  • "What can local responses to COVID-19 tell us about the potential and challenges for devolved ‘welfare’?": Essay submission for Greater Manchester Poverty Action

  • "The DWP's response to the coronavirus outbreak": Written evidence from the Welfare at a (Social) Distance research team

  • "The impact of ending the COVID-19 £20 uprating of Universal Credit": Written evidence from the Welfare at a (Social) Distance research team

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